Careers for History Majors
Careers for History Majors
Notre Dame History majors thrive after graduation. Six months out, a full 98% of our recent graduates have found full-time employment, entered service or graduate programs, joined the military, or launched independent projects. Their achievements in business, law, education, communications, and beyond show that one can do just about anything with a History degree.
Historians as Communicators
As Bleacher Report founder Dave Finocchio ’05 can attest, Historians learn first and foremost to be effective communicators. History majors gain a toolkit of skills for processing, evaluating, and explaining complex information—skills that are of great value in our world of information overload. History graduates these tools work not just in media, but they also do so in consulting, law, government, and education.
Historians as Business-People
History graduates can be found throughout the business world. They apply their skills, critical insights, and broad perspective to work in finance, banking, insurance, tech, and entrepreneurship. They use their communication and research abilities in advertising, marketing, and communications. History graduates apply these skills on their own in careers in business, or, they often double major [link to a double majors page] and enrich their degrees in business, finance, or economics with History.
Historians as Lawyers and Advocates
History is a discipline of evidence and arguments. For that reason, it has long been an ideal major for students intending to pursue careers in Law. History graduates take with them the ability to weigh complex ideas and evidence and to formulate persuasive arguments from them. These skills serve them well at law school and beyond, as well as in careers in public policy, government, and non-profit advocacy.
Historians as Researchers and Information Managers
Research is fundamental to the historian’s craft, and is a central part of the Notre Dame History degree. The work of digging, sifting, and analyzing documentary evidence can be applied broadly after graduation. History graduates can be found using these skills in research and consulting firms, in policy think tanks, investment banks, and all levels of government. Moreover, History students take their familiarity with libraries and archives into careers as information managers, information technologists, and librarians at universities and corporations.
Historians as Educators
History majors become great teachers at all levels, and in many contexts. Many Notre Dame graduates go on to careers in teaching via Teach for America, the Alliance for Catholic Education, and private schools; others pursue master’s degrees in Education and PhD’s in History. But History graduates’ skills as communicators of ideas and information also serve them beyond classroom settings. They work also as docents, education directors, and curators at museums, historical societies, and historical sites.
Historians in STEM Fields
There are links between work in History and STEM fields, and the History major can pair well with a STEM degree. First, historians gain skills for analyzing the multiple human variables in scientific and technological work, and communicating their ideas in clear, effective prose. Second, understanding how revolutionary innovation happened in the past can help envision new directions for the future, or recover paths that might be promising again. (Around 1900, researchers took up Mendel's largely forgotten approaches, kick-starting 20th century genetics.) Third, human relations may be particularly important in medical work, since the doctor-patient relationship depends in part on the patient's understanding of the history of medicine. The vital effectiveness of vaccines, for example, is powerfully communicated via historical study, as are the sometimes-puzzling reasons for resistance to medical expertise.